Have you ever wondered...

What your dog is thinking?

Your Dog's Brain

I have always wondered what my dog is thinking or what they would say if they could talk. After extensive research I found out that dogs have the same brain structures that produce emotions in humans. They also have the same hormones and undergo the same chemical changes that humans do during emotional states. Dogs even share the human hormone oxytocin, which is involved with love and affection. While dogs do share hormones and similar emotions to humans, they cannot develop complex emotions such as guilt, shame, contempt, pride etc. The brain of a dog is equivalent to a 2 to 2 and a half year old human. Much like a 2 year old, dogs develop basic emotions such as joy, fear, anger, disgust, excitement, and love.


In a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, researchers used a procedure known as "preferential viewing". This experiment was designed to show that dogs can understand simple calculations. Eleven pet dogs were shown treats that were placed behind a screen. When each treat was placed behind the screen and then the screen was removed the dogs looked briefly at the two treats. When two treats were deposited behind the screen but only one remained the dogs looked at the one treat for longer, indicating that they knew the math didn't add up. Therefore, your dog may be having more complex thoughts than you thought.


Dogs are very aware of language too, and research suggests that they can understand more words than just sit and down. Research suggests that dogs can learn 165 words (some can learn up to 250). Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking about you? Interestingly, dogs respond to our gestures, attend to our body language, and even follow our gaze to see what we are looking at. It is safe to say that dogs can read humans better than chimpanzees since they are the longest domesticated species to evolve alongside humans.


Test your Dog's Knowledge!


Exercise:

If you have a dog I encourage you to conduct your own experiment to test their knowledge! All you have to do is relax with a few treats for your dog! This may take a while so it is important that you and your pet have patience :). The game is hot and cold. As the trainer all you have to do is say hot and cold and toss treats to your pup! Come up with something you want your dog to grab such as a blanket, purse, remote, etc to bring to you. Any time your dog moves closer to the object say "hot" with excitement and give them a treat! Anytime they move away from the object say "cold" and do not give them a treat. By teaching your dog the hot and cold game you can get them to understand the concept of the game and train them to bring you anything you want! Warning: Items may be wet from slobber!




References:


http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/06-what-is-your-dog-thinking


http://www.cbs46.com/story/26068316/do-you-know-what-your-dog-is-thinking-new-research-may-help